Isotopes, fans will stay in Albuquerque regardless of historic affiliation

Posted at: 09/01/2014 7:03 PM
Updated at: 09/01/2014 7:09 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Albuquerque Isotopes wrapped its season today with a loss and some uncertainty. Will the team continue its affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers?   

An Oklahoma City newspaper recently reported the Dodgers will shift their AAA-affiliation to that city next season. If that partnership with Albuquerque ends, where does that leave the Isotopes organization heading into next season?

For nearly 40 seasons, Albuquerque has been affiliated with the L.A. Dodgers and have won eight Pacific Coast League Championships.

Whether the team has been called the Browns, Dukes or Isotopes, their supporters always include some loyal Dodgers fans like Joe McSorley.

"Oh boo! We should live forever as a Dodger," McSorley said.

Rod Current isn’t too happy either.

"It's pretty depressing since we've had such a long history with the Dodgers," he said. "I'm sad to see them go."

Some true greats made a stop in the Duke City on the way to the majors. Hall of Famers like Manager Tommy Lasorda. Players like Steve Garvey, Ron “The Penguin” Cey, or even Orel Hersheiser, to name just a few.

James Wilder has been an Albuquerque baseball fan for 50 years.

"It doesn't make any difference," Wilder said. "These people come out here to watch the Dodgers, they come out here for the good food and the perfect stadium, and to see a good game. That's all they want."

Isotopes General Manager John Traub told KOB there will absolutely be baseball here in Albuquerque next year. April 9 will be opening day regardless of the team's affiliation. The Reno Aces are on the schedule.

 "The Isotopes are not moving," Traub said. "The Isotopes are not going to be for sale. This franchise means a lot to this community. 7 million people coming through this ball park in this city in 12 years has really been phenomenal, and we're not going anywhere."

Some here in New Mexico are just baseball fans like Jill McSorley, regardless of affiliation. And  besides, ‘Orbit’ is not going anywhere.

"I'm first and foremost a baseball fan. And then secondly the team. So it's great to have a place to come see baseball in our hometown."

Rod Current will be back.

"I'll still come to the park and support the Isotopes, because we still have baseball in Albuquerque- it will just be a different affiliate."